It is very disappointing to see so many terrible reviews. You have to plan and know what to expect while on a cruise. My husband and I are in our late 40's and have taken over 20 cruises on Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America, Celebrity and Azamara. We have never had a bad cruise because I am a planner. You absolutely cannot wait to get on the cruise to plan everything. You also have to read a lot of reviews and know what to expect. Some people just like to complain. You are spending a lot of money, so just relax and realize that everyone on a ship works really hard and deals with a lot and doesn't get paid very much. With Norwegian and freestyle cruising, when reservations are available, you should book your dinner times and all of your shows. You can always change them when you get on the ship if the time doesn't work. So many things are going on at night and shows are shown multiple times so you will be able to work around your dinner time. With that said, embarkation went very smoothly. We got to New Orleans the night before and actually walked to the cruise terminal so we would know where to go. Our hotel was less than a mile away from the terminal so we walked to avoid all of the traffic. We were there at around 9:45am and people were still getting off the ship. Everything was very smooth. We went through security, were given a group #2 boarding pass and sat in the terminal. They offered drinks and comfortable seats. We were on the ship a little after 11am and went to O'Sheehan's for lunch. It was very good. We are people who do not spend extra on the drink packages or the specialty restaurants. So everything we ate was at the complimentary restaurants (Tropicana, Taste, and Savor). We rotated throughout the week. All dinner's were delicious. We had excellent service at each restaurant. There was a nice variety of choices each night. Some nights we ordered extra because there were too many good choices. All food came out hot and well seasoned. We constantly had our water refilled and got coffee each night with dessert. At every restaurant, every single night we had a manager come up to us and ask about our meal. Absolutely no complaints about the complimentary restaurants. For breakfast we always ate at the buffet. We always found a seat. Some days we had to look around a little and there was always plenty of variety to choose from. Everything we had at the buffet was good. They cleared our dishes, were friendly, and some girls came around with special pastries some mornings. I liked the variety of the buffet where you can get a little of everything. For lunches, we ate twice at O'Sheehans-excellent, if we were on the ship at sea, we would go to the buffet which had a lot of choices as well as nice afternoon snacks in between lunch and dinner. They also had soft serve ice cream that you get yourself as well as scoopable ice cream that everyone seemed to love. I liked that after a show, you could stop at the buffet for a late night snack till 11:30pm. If you're into the specialty restaurants and don't mind paying extra, then go for it. We have had complimentary 3 meal specialty packages on the previous two cruises with the Getaway and liked all of those restaurants too, but still I don't think it's necessary to spend extra money on food. All of the shows were great and we have seen them before. Burn the Floor was excellent as well as Million $ Quartet. All of the performers were super. We liked the comedians and the dueling pianos is a can't miss--so much fun. We also loved the Pour House (which used to be the Grammy Experience before it went into dry dock). The band and singers at the Pour House were fantastic and a must see. The welcome aboard show is great. There was also a Christmas show on Christmas night that was a mix of all of the performers singing Christmas songs that was excellent and the last night of the cruise they had a farewell show that was can't miss. We also loved Epic Journey, a tribute band that sounded exactly like Steve Perry and Journey--really good. We did some trivia in the atrium and at the Pour House that was fun. There is so much to do and we know what we like. We also don't worry about all of the extras they want you to buy. Just do what you like. There are lots of shops and stores and you can get your picture taken for free and then choose to buy what you want. They have a nice photography area. We had been to all of the ports before and like them all. We always find something fun to do and had no issue getting off the ship and back on. All very easy. Our cruise director Vincent was great and he changed into crazy suits daily. He was outgoing and nice. There are a few pools and great water slides, a ropes course, a circus area, mini golf, sports area, ping pong, bowling, arcade, etc. Go onto the NCL website and really search around so you know what is on the ship. We had an inside cabin which was small but we'd rather enjoy spending our money elsewhere since our room is only used to sleep and shower. We are not in it that much. The ship itself is beautiful. It was decorated really nicely for Christmas and there were gingerbread houses all over the place. Please remember you are on vacation. Do what you enjoy. Preplan everything so the cruise is smooth. You paid a lot of money and you need to take a breath and enjoy and realize that many people can't afford to go on vacations like this. I assure you, the people on the ship work really hard each and every day. Do research on your ports and plan your excursions BEFORE the cruise either through the cruise line or on your own. This is the key to an enjoyable cruise. Overall, we had a fantastic vacation and really enjoyed ourselves. We put down deposits for 2 future cruises and got onboard credit which we were able to use on this cruise.
Good location, close to the center of ship not far from stairs and elevator and good level (deck 11). Lots of things above on 15-18 and lots below on 6-8. Nice and quiet at night. A bit on the small side with not a lot of storage space.
Did the Ke'kchi Mayan tour and chocolate farm--excellent excursion through the ship. We loved it and highly recommend.
Nice port, we've been here before so this time we just walked around the port to the shops and stores.